PMI-ACP vs. PMP: Which Certification to Opt For?

PMI-ACP vs. PMP: Which Certification to Opt For?

Working professionals worldwide need to regularly update their skill set to stay relevant in their fields and rise in their ranks. This is because organizations constantly look for people who have the best skills and knowledge to promote and lead teams. This is where certifications come in. They help professionals upskill themselves and be at par, if not rise above their competitors. Two of the most popular accreditations that employers often look out for in their employees are PMI-ACP and PMP certifications. 

The PMI-ACP certification is for professionals who want to become adept in Agile methods. The PMP certification is for project managers and team members who want more in-depth knowledge and expertise in project management. Both the certifications, along with their differences, are discussed in the article below.

What is PMI-ACP?

The PMI-ACP certification is offered by the Project Management Institute and is a widely accepted course in Agile. ACP stands for Agile Certified Practitioner. It is a recognized and respected course that holds high regard in many organizations. Employers looking to hire certified PMI-ACP professionals know that the candidates will be highly skilled and knowledgeable in the Agile methodology.

The Importance of PMI-ACP Certification Today

This certification has gained popularity due to the rise in the adoption of Agile across companies in varying industries. This is due to the high success rate of Agile projects. A recent study noted that 75% of the projects that adopted Agile were successful compared to the 56% of projects completed using other methods. 

This means successful adoption of Agile has become extremely important to companies. Those who obtain this certification are skilled in Agile principles and practices and know the inner workings of how Agile projects function, making Agile Certified Practitioners extremely high in demand. 

Prerequisites and Examination Details for a PMI-ACP Certification

To obtain a PMI-ACP certification, applicants need to clear the main examination. This exam goes on for three hours and contains 120 multiple-choice questions. Applicants need to have a secondary degree as a prerequisite as well. In addition, they need a minimum of 21 hours of training recorded in Agile practices and a minimum of one year of work experience working with projects in the past five years, along with at least 8 months of prior work experience working on Agile projects.

Once applicants complete all the prerequisites and obtain their PMI-ACP certification, they also need to earn 30 PDUs (Professional Development Units) every three years to maintain their certificate.

What is PMP?

A PMP certification stands for becoming a certified Project Management Professional. This accreditation is not deemed to be necessary but highly recommended for project managers. It is a globally recognized certification that proves skill, knowledge, and experience for project managers. If any working professional is looking to upskill themselves or looking for a promotion in their field, this course can be of great help.

The Importance of a PMP Certification Today

In today’s overly competitive job market, working professionals or potential employers are always looking for the most experienced and most qualified individuals for the job role. A PMP certification can help individuals gain a competitive advantage over their peers. In addition, some organizations solely hire individuals who have a PMP certification already, so they do not have to train their new employees, which means a PMP-certified individual will have more opportunities available to them. 

A PMP-certified individual also earns 25% more in terms of annual salary than their non-certified counterparts. In addition, a PMP certification is also globally recognized and holds considerable value, which means it is a certificate that will always prove to be useful.

Prerequisites and Examination Details for a PMP Certification

There are certain prerequisites required for working professionals to be eligible for a PMP certification. Applicants need to either have a four-year degree or a high school diploma or the global equivalent of an associate’s degree to be eligible to apply. If they have a four-year degree, then the prospective applicants need to have a minimum of 36 months of experience leading projects for their workplace. If they have a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, they need 60 months of experience leading projects. Applicants also need to complete 35 hours of mandatory project management education to be eligible. 

Once applicants have met these requirements, they can give their exams. However, once they obtain their certification, they also need to develop their professional skills to maintain their PMP certification continuously.

Differences Between PMI-ACP and PMP 

When it comes to holding value, a PMI-ACP is considered at a higher level than a PMP certification. This is because certified PMI-ACP professionals have knowledge and expertise in project management and Agile, whereas PMP certified professionals have expertise only as project managers. 

A PMP certification will land working professionals on more traditional projects regarding the roles assigned to both certifications. They are responsible for all parts of the project and their team from its inception until its end. For certified PMI-ACP professionals, they need to work in a more iterative environment where the clients’ needs can change at any given instant, and the project needs to adapt to the same. This is only possible for someone with an in-depth knowledge of Agile methods. 

A PMP professional is solely responsible for the project he is handling, so he does not need to disclose every detail to his team. However, he is responsible for delegating and overseeing the project’s progress. Therefore, agile teams operate in a more transparent manner where all team members take ownership of the project and work in a unified manner.

The main difference between the two certifications is that a PMP certification is focused more on improving an individual’s standing and expertise as a project manager. On the other hand, a certified PMI-ACP professional is focused more on developing their knowledge and skills in Agile practices and methodology.

Final Thoughts

A PMP certification, and a PMI-ACP certification are focused on improving individual skill sets in different aspects. Both are highly valued certifications and can open up a world of opportunities for working professionals and give them the edge they need over their competitors. If individuals want to improve their skills as project managers, a PMP certification in Bangalore would be ideal. If they want to hone their skills and learn more about Agile practices, they should opt for PMI-ACP certification.

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